Ministry to Partner SLAD on Diabetes Awareness

Prof Onyebuchi  Chukwu

Sandra Alumona

The Federal Ministry of Health is set to organise a convention in partnership  with Saving Life for African Diabetes Foundation (SLAD), a  Non Governmental Organisation (NGO)   put together by Nollywood stars and musicians to create awareness on diabetes.
The  convention titled, “Nollywood Health Convention 2013,” with the theme;  Ignorance is not an Excuse, will kick off on November 23, at the Golden Tulip Hotel, Festac, Lagos.
A Nollywood movie producer and the President of SLAD, Mr. Obi Madubogwu, who disclosed this, noted that the convention would attract dignitaries from both governmental and non-governmental organisations.
Madubogwu also disclosed that award would be given to Nigerians that has contributed so much in the development of the society at the convention.
According to him, after the convention, there will be a free medical administration and lectures on the causes and prevention of diabetes on November 24, at the National Stadium Surulere, Lagos State.

Chronic stress may lead to diabetes

Dr S V Madhu, the lead researcher, said increased secretion of the stress hormone—cortisol—leads to redistribution of fat, central obesity and insulin resistance. He added, “Higher stress levels also causes activation of oxidative and inflammatory pathways resulting eventually in development of type II diabetes.”

Dr Madhu, who heads the medicine and the endocrinology and metabolism division at UCMS, said this is the first study that has used different stress scales to characterize chronic psychological stress and evaluate its role in development of diabetes.

Doctors said, among the stress scales, the ability to cope with stress was found to be the strongest independent predictor of diabetes with an odds ratio of 0.77 that translates to a 33 percent lower risk of diabetes. “This is a positive finding. It shows that de-stressing mechanisms such as yoga, listening to music, sports or travelling can reduce the risk factor,” said another senior doctor.

Simply put, diabetes is a condition in which the body has trouble turning food into energy. All bodies break down digested food into a sugar called glucose, their main source of fuel. In a healthy person, the hormone insulin helps glucose enter the cells. But in a diabetic, the pancreas fails to produce enough insulin, or the body does not properly use it. Cells starve while glucose builds up in the blood.

There are two predominant types of diabetes. In Type 1, the immune system destroys the cells in the pancreas that make insulin. In Type 2, which accounts for an estimated 90-95% of all cases, either the body’s cells are not sufficiently receptive to insulin or the pancreas makes too little of the hormone, or both.

With more than 63 million diabetic patients, India is second only to China in the number of people living with the ailment. However, awareness about the disease remains low, says Dr B M Makkar from Research Society for the Study of Diabetes in India, RSSDI.

“Studies show almost 85 percent of type II diabetics are overweight. However, only six to ten percent are aware that being overweight put them at a higher risk for diabetes,” Dr Kakkar added.

The Magi and The Sleeping Star Offers A New Type of Diabetes Management

The Magi and The Sleeping Star is a Kickstarter campaign with a cause. In this fantasy adventure game by Game Equals Life, your hero will battle against ancient kings and robots, as well as a very real-word problem, type 1 diabetes.

Developer Adam Grantham is a game designer who has lived with type 1 diabetes for over 19 years. He’s always wanted to make a game that will help people better understand the disease, which is how he thought up the idea for The Magi and The Sleeping Star. If the game is funded, not only will it help people to learn about diabetes, but kids who have been newly diagnosed will finally have a hero to look up to.

“The Magi and The Sleeping Star is unlike any health game before,” explains Grantham on the Kickstarter page. “Rather than coming from the realms of medical research and academia, it comes straight from the game industry. I knew from the beginning that if the game wasn’t fun, it wasn’t going to be teaching anyone anything. So we designed a core game that was strong enough to stand alone as an exciting, evocative adventure.”

He goes on to discuss one of the game’s core mechanics, blood sugar balance. In order to be able to access all of your hero’s abilities, players will need to manage blood sugar levels. According to Grantham, the game isn’t about diabetes, instead it’s about a hero’s journey and that hero just happens to have the disease.

If you want to help bring The Magi and The Sleeping Star to life, check out the game’s Kickstarter campaign.

Leah B. Jackson is an Associate Editor at IGN. Feel free to follow her/send tips on Twitter and MyIGN.

10 celebrities living with diabetes

diabetes main pictureRecently, actor Tom Hanks revealed that he was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, a lifelong condition, which occurs when the body does not produce enough insulin. The 57-year-old has already been dealing with high blood pressure since the age of 36, reports Though the condition can be controlled through an effective diet, Hanks chooses to do otherwise. ‘Well it’s controllable through diet. My doctor said, ‘If you can weigh what you weighed in high school, you’ll essentially be completely healthy and not have Type 2 diabetes.’ And I said, ‘Well, I’m going to have Type 2 diabetes then’, he added.  Tom Hanks is not the only celebrity suffering from diabetes. Here are some other celebrities who’ve tackled the menace:

Sonam Kapoor

Anil Kapoor’s daughter has struggled with diabetes from her teenage years. She has followed a strict diet regime with daily insulin to stay healthy. Her hectic schedule did take a toll on her but she soon learned to manage the condition, and hasn’t let it stop her from becoming one of the most sought-after actresses in B-town. (Read: Sonam Kapoor’s weight loss secrets)

Halle Berry

The Bond girl was diagnosed was diabetes when she was 23 after she fainted on a TV set. She was taken aback by the disease because none of her family members suffered from it. Since then, she has been taking daily insulin injections for the rest of her life and overhauled her diet. She now follows a diet that is low in fat, sugar, processed carbs and avoids all junk food or sweets. (Read: How celeb trainer Ramona Braganza got Jessica Alba and Halle Berry to shed their post pregnancy weight)

Salma Hayek

The curvy actress suffered from gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy), which she claimed runs in her family. She told American Baby magazine, ‘I had gestational diabetes, which I didn’t realize at first. It occurs in women who have high blood sugar levels during pregnancy. I didn’t know whether I was feeling bad because I was pregnant or whether something was seriously wrong. I was nauseated for nine months, which can be one of the symptoms.’ (Read: Gestational Diabetes: Causes, prevention and treatment)

Wasim Akram

The King of Swing was diagnosed with diabetes when he was 30. It was shocking for the ace swing bowler who always associated diabetes with a sedentary lifestyle. Nonetheless, he modified his diet and exercise regime to counter the illness and also took insulin doses. The disease didn’t stop him from making his mark in the cricketing world, and becoming one of the greatest bowlers cricket has ever seen. (Read: Cut risk of diabetes by 30 per cent with just 30 minutes of physical activity)

Kamal Haasan

The talented actor suffers from type 1 diabetes and is part of 5% of  Indian diabetic population that suffers from this variety of diabetes. The actor hasn’t let the disease dampen his zest for life and has even become an advocate for diabetes awareness, promoting the website

Gaurav Kapur

The former Channel V VJ and IPL Extra Innings host was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when he was 22. The witty actor took the diagnosis in his stride and lives a healthy lifestyle to counter the disease. He practices yoga and jogs regularly to keep fit and also follows a strict diet while abstaining from alcohol to keep his blood sugar under control.

Drew Carrey

Famous as an overweight comedian and sitcom star, Carey dropped 80 pounds after being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. He claims that after losing weight he now no longer requires diabetic medicine every day.

George Lucas

The Star Wars creator learned his condition when he was graduating from college and when he was drafted for the Vietnam War; his physical exam revealed he suffered from type 2 diabetes, which exempted him from the draft.

Billie Jean King

Perhaps the greatest women tennis player of all time, she was diagnosed with the condition in 2006. She lost 35 pounds to fight the disease and went on to become a spokesperson for diabetes awareness.

As we can diabetes knows no class but it’s a manageable condition. All you need to do is be aware to tackle the menace.

For more articles on diseases and conditions, check out our diseases conditions section and for videos, check out our YouTube Channel.

City doctors find high stress levels linked to diabetes

Could high stress levels, identified as a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases and hypertension, also be associated with metabolic disorders like diabetes? A Delhi based study funded by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), and carried out by Delhi government’s Guru Teg Bahadur (GTB) Hospital and its associated University College of Medical Sciences (UCMS), has found “significant” clinical evidence to link high stress levels to diabetes, in patients newly diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, according to doctors.

The study which is currently under publication, found that individuals who had low glucose tolerance levels diagnosed through glucose tolerance tests (GTT) indicating diabetes, had correspondingly high stress levels and low coping levels for stress, on the basis of questionnaires developed to validate stress. Other scientific indicators were used to identify levels of stress in diabetics.

Dr S V Madhu, head of the department of endocrinology and secretary of the Research Society for Study of Diabetes in India, who was the principal investigator, said, “Stress hormone levels, measured as the human body’s hormonal response to stress was also found to be higher in people diagnosed with diabetes. Hormones associated with stress like cortisol and catecholamines were found to be altered or disturbed in people who had low GTT levels.” He added that established chemical changes in the brain, which are associated with stress were also found to be activated in patients with diabetes. “Certain pathways in the brain, like oxidative stress pathways were found to be disturbed in patients with diabetes, indicating stress,” Dr Madhu explained.

The study identified 1,000 people who were put through diagnostics including glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity tests, and identified 500 as newly detected with diabetes. There stress levels were compared with another 500 who were found to have normal glucose tolerance levels. “To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time that we have been able to establish direct evidence demonstrating that stress plays a clinically significant role in the expression of human diabetes, in India. Again as far as we know, this is the first time that different stress scales have been used to characterise chronic psychological stress to evaluate its role in development of Type 2 diabetes,” Dr Madhu explained.

… contd.


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Women with diabetes are at greater risk of death: Experts

More than 250 children and experts from city took part in the workshop and discussed the ways to curb diabetes.

Talking about diabetes, Dr Archana Sharda, diabetes expert from Aurangabad informed that diabetes is a chronic condition associated with abnormally high levels of sugar (glucose) in blood. Absence or insufficient production of insulin can also cause diabetes.

Symptoms of diabetes include increased urine output, thirst, hunger and fatigue. Diabetes is diagnosed by blood sugar (glucose) testing.

Talking about the complications, Dr Brij Kishore said that acute complications of this disease are dangerously elevated blood sugar (hyperglycemia), abnormally low blood sugar ( hypoglycemia). The disease affects blood vessels, which can damage feet, eyes, kidneys, nerves and heart.

People suffering from diabetes are almost 50% more likely to have a heart attack.

Women with diabetes are at a greater risk of death than men. The experts said that the increase in prevalence of diabetes in the country is mainly due to factors such as unhealthy food habits, obesity due to lack of exercise and physical fitness, sedentary lifestyles, environmental degradation and its impact on endocrine system.

Dr Bhaskar Ganguli elaborated the importance of exercise for diabetics. He said that all type of exercise are good for diabetics but the aerobics is most affective.

The experts advised tips to the participants to control diabetes by not dieting but making healthier food choices. Regular exercises, quitting smoking and having healthy diet can keep diabetes at bay.

What you need to know about diabetes

There are two types of diabetes – type 1 and type 2 – but the one that is usually in the news because of its association with rising obesity rates in America is type 2 diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes: Previously called juvenile diabetes, type 1 is usually diagnosed in children and young adults. In this type, the body does not produce insulin, a hormone needed to convert sugar, starches and other foods into energy. Insulin, by shot or pump, must be started right away. Exercise and nutrition are also important in managing type 1 diabetes. It is caused by one’s immune system attacking and destroying insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. It is thought to be caused genetic and environmental factors.

Type 2 diabetes: This type, which may be prevented through lifestyle changes in diet, weight loss and exercise, accounts for 90 percent to 95 percent of all diabetes cases in the U.S. It occurs when an indivdual’s body doesn’t make enough insulin or use it well. This results in “insulin resistance.” 

Diabetes can be diagnosed using three blood tests – fasting blood sugar test, hemoglobin A1C test and a glucose challenge test.

“Patients are often asymptomatic, but the risks associated with prediabetes and diabetes, like heart attack and stroke, are happening before the diagnosis,” said Dr. Scott Setzer, a family doctor in Lemoyne.

People with prediabetes have blood sugar levels that are higher than normal – between 100 and 125 mg/dl – but not high enough to be called diabetes, the label given when fasting blood glucose is 126 mg/dl or higher. Sometimes, early treatment of prediabetes can return blood glucose levels to normal and prevent escalation to diabetes.

When they do present, symptoms include frequent thirst, extreme hunger, frequent urination as in every two hours, weight loss, blurred vision and fatigue, said Dr. Renu Joshi, medical director of endocrinology at PinnacleHealth System in Harrisburg.

Treatment can include lifestyle change in diet, exercise and weight loss, medications and insulin.

In the past several months, a new medication for type 2 diabetes called Invokana (generically called canagliflozin) was introduced that works by making blood sugar come out in the urine, Joshi said. It holds promise, but it can cause thirst, frequent urination and yeast infections. Patients must have completely normal kidney function to be able to take it, she said.

Get tested

The American Diabetes Association has set these guidelines for diabetes screening:

  • Anyone with a body mass index higher than 25, regardless of age, who has additional risk factors, such as high blood pressure, a sedentary lifestyle, a history of polycystic ovary syndrome, having delivered a baby who weighed more than 9 pounds, a history of diabetes in pregnancy, high cholesterol levels, a history of heart disease, or having a close relative with diabetes.
  • Anyone older than age 45 is advised to receive an initial blood sugar screening, and then, if the results are normal, to be screened every three years thereafter. 

Dog Diabetes: What to Watch For

Dog via Shutterstockby petMD |

Diabetes-Related Emergencies

Diabetes in dogs is treated with insulin, much the same way as it is in humans. But if too much or too little insulin is administered, it can be very dangerous for the animal.

What To Watch For Diabetes causes high blood sugar levels and is signaled primarily by excessive urination, excessive drinking, increased appetite and weight loss. In cases where the diabetes is not treated promptly and allowed to progress to the point of a crisis, symptoms may include a loss of appetite, weakness, seizures, twitching, and intestinal problems (diarrhea or constipation).

Primary Cause

Diabetic emergencies can be caused by either injecting too much or too little insulin, or not treating the diabetes in the first place. Both cases are equally dangerous for the dog and can cause coma or death. In cases where the diabetes is not treated, it can progress to diabetic ketoacidosis, a very serious condition that can cause death of your pet. Diabetic ketoacidosis can also be seen in dogs where the diabetes had been regulated and yet in which another condition has developed affecting the body’s ability to regulate the diabetes.

Immediate Care

If signs of an insulin dosage problem are noticed, it should be treated as an extreme emergency. The following steps may provide aid to your dog until you are able to bring her to a veterinarian (which should be as quickly as possible):

Syringe liquid glucose into the dog’s mouth. This can be in the form of corn syrup, maple syrup, honey, etc. If the dog is having a seizure, lift its lips and rub glucose syrup on the gums. Be careful not to get bit.

Veterinary Care

Depending on the cause of the crisis, dogs suffering from diabetic emergencies may need to be given glucose or insulin intravenously. In cases of diabetic ketoacidosis, hospitalization is required to provide insulin and electrolyte therapy. Glucose levels will be checked every one to three hours to monitor response of the treatment.


Once the emergency has passed, normal insulin treatment will resume.

Living and Management

Always make sure you have a supply of glucose, honey, or corn syrup available for emergencies. Follow your vet’s instructions for the proper schedule and dosage of insulin treatments. Keep the insulin in a fridge and before administering, make sure it has not expired. The insulin should also be rolled — never shaken — prior to administration.


Obesity has been linked to diabetes; consult with your veterinarian if weight loss can be of assistance in your dog’s case. Also, be cautious when administering steroids (i.e., prednisone), as chronic use of the drug may cause the onset of diabetes in dogs.

If you are unable to consult with your veterinarian, you can check your dog’s symptoms on with the Symptom Checker tool.

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William Petit Joins Company Developing Diabetes Device

Dr. William Petit is a partner in a company that’s developing a new device for testing diabetes.

Petit is one of four principals in Quick LLC, a Farmington-based company that announced Thursday the start of a fundraising campaign to raise money for developing a prototype of the device and testing it.

Petit said he got involved with the company because it’s an opportunity to be involved with something that could solve the long-discussed problem of how to make it easier to measure glucose levels in diabetes patients. He is friends with Scott Fox, the president and CEO of the company.

“Over the course of a number of rounds of golf, he told me about what was going on,” Petit said.

David Mucci and Ron Clark, both doctors at the Hospital of Central Connecticut who developed the device, demonstrated it to Petit.

Instead of using a finger prick to test blood, the device measures glucose levels in saliva. It’s easier and less painful, Petit said, especially for people who need to test themselves several times each day. Some people don’t test themselves as often as they should, Petit said, because of the pain and inconvenience.

“It’s a fascinating idea and I give credit to Dave Mucci and Ron Clark,” he said in a telephone interview. “People have been looking for ways to measure glucose levels for some time.”

The device also connects to smartphones so that parents can track their children’s tests.

A former medical director of the Joslin Diabetes Center at the Hospital of Central Connecticut, Petit hasn’t practiced medicine since 2007, when his wife and two daughters were killed in a brutal attack in their home. Since that ordeal, he has worked for the Petit Family Foundation, which has raised and donated more than $1 million to causes that match the interests of his wife and daughters.

He has also advocated for reforming the state’s death penalty law and has served with the Hartford County Medical Association and the Connecticut State Medical Society.

The new device, called the iQuickIt Saliva Analyzer, has been in development for about 18 months, Fox said. The company hopes to raise $100,000 over the next two months on the crowdsourcing website, which allows people to raise money for specific goals with contributions from many people.

Fox, Mucci and Clark are the founders of the company. They brought Petit onto the management team to serve as the diabetes advisor. Among other tasks, he’ll oversee the clinical trials when the device gets to that stage.

In a best-case scenario, Fox said, the device could be on the market in about two years.

Petit made news earlier this month when he confirmed that he was considering running for Congress. Petit said Thursday he was still considering a run for the Republican candidacy in the 5th District, and is weighing the time it requires to other commitments, including the foundation, his work with Quick LLC and the fact that he and his new wife are expecting a baby in six weeks.